Closing arguments heard in Lethbridge man’s attempted murder case

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Closing arguments heard in Lethbridge man’s attempted murder case
Robert John Sheppard was back in court on Tuesday as the Crown and defence read closing arguments. Demi Knight reports – Jun 11, 2019

Robert John Sheppard, a 32-year-old Lethbridge resident who faces several charges including attempted murder, was back in court on Tuesday for closing arguments.

The charges stem from an incident that took place on April 15, 2018, when Sheppard allegedly shot at a west side home in what police called a “targeted attack.”

READ MORE: Attempted murder charges laid in ‘targeted’ southern Alberta shooting

Sheppard also faced four counts of assault with a weapon but during closing arguments on Tuesday, the Crown asked for three of those to be dropped.

Along with attempted murder Sheppard still faces several other charges relating to a firearm.

In arguments for the attempted murder charge, the Crown stated Sheppard was familiar with the floor plan of the house, adding the bullets were aimed in the direction the alleged target had run to. The Crown suggested it was no coincidence that four bullets pierced the glass door the woman had run through seconds before.

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The Crown also stated the shots were a fired in a “murderous attempt,” reminding the judge that upon Sheppard’s arrest, he was found to be in possession of an unauthorized and loaded weapon.

READ MORE: Attempted murder trial begins for Lethbridge man in connection with 2018 shooting

In closing, the defence stated that throughout the trial, the Crown had failed to prove without a reasonable doubt that Sheppard intended to kill anyone on the night in question.

The Crown said the exact location he shot the gun from is still unknown, adding that Sheppard may have fired the gun as a warning or threat instead of with an intention to kill.

The defence also stated the judge must take into consideration that “absence of evidence is just as meaningful as evidence proven” and due to these circumstances, Sheppard should be acquitted of the attempted murder charge.

After closing arguments concluded, the judge noted more time is necessary for sentencing.

Sheppard is scheduled to appear in court on June 28 to set a date for a final verdict.

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